For Twins fans anxiously awaiting news of a contract extension for Joe Mauer, there is growing speculation that a deal is close.

But the wait continues.

Two people familiar with the negotiations denied a report by WCCO-TV that the sides have reached preliminary agreement on a 10-year contract.

That would not be a far-fetched finishing point for these negotiations, however, as Mauer has won three batting titles, two Gold Gloves as a catcher and an MVP award, all before his 27th birthday.

Two people close to the Mauer family said they'd heard the framework of a deal -- number of years and guaranteed money -- may already be in place, with the sides simply ironing out details such as deferred payments. Those claims have gone unconfirmed by people close to the negotiations.

Manager Ron Gardenhire has joked that the Twins just need to decide whether to give the catcher Minneapolis or St. Paul.

Mauer will make $12.5 million this year in the final year of a four-year, $33 million deal. On Friday, he said he hopes his contract situation doesn't become a distraction for the team. Twins pitchers and catchers are set to report to spring training on Feb. 21.